Posts tagged bites
Posts tagged bites
I invented these.
I had some overripe bananas, which I had to protect with a label or our cleaning lady would have thrown them away:
I also had an itch to do something new, a craving for peanut butter (which is really just status quo around here, “around here” being inside my body), and a fresh jar of Nutella, requested by Nathaniel.
Since my signature Banana Yogurt Muffins are only 2 P+ on Weight Watchers, I did the math and figured out that doing what I envisioned with these muffins would only take them up to 3 P+, a perfectly acceptable number. 3 is the golden ticket in muffin world. And so I began.
(I must also note here that I had the white balance setting messed up for all of these pictures, plus a few other blog entries here. I’ve fixed it, but my Photoshop skills are limited and while I did what I could, that yellow tint to everything is still there. Sorry.)
I started with whole wheat white flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I scaled back a wee bit on the cinnamon, knowing that I wanted the other flavors to be dominant.
I whisked that together, then turned my attention to the rotting bananas.
I mashed them up, then added the sugar (coconut palm sugar, for fun), vanilla (increasing to a full teaspoon), and yogurt. Normally I add two big tablespoons of peanut butter to the batter, but this time since I was going to use some in the middle, and was measuring everything out so I could calculate Weight Watchers points, I carefully measured out one tablespoon, and mixed.
I poured that mixture into the dry ingredients, and mixed just until incorporated.
The batter was so light it was almost spongy.
I measured out my peanut butter (Skippy Natural Creamy, my favorite) and Nutella into bowls. Four tablespoons each.
I melted each one in the microwave long enough to make them drippy and easy to work with. It took about 20-30 seconds each to get them to a good consistency. Then I spooned the muffin batter into the bottom of paper-lined muffin cups, trying to make sure I’d still have enough to top them all off.
I added the Nutella globs.
I added the peanut butter globs.
Then I topped up each muffin with the rest of the batter.
And then, since I still had peanut butter and Nutell left that I’d accounted for (points-wise), I tried drizzling some onto the tops of the muffins, but they came out more globby than drizzly. I was okay with that. Drizzle may look prettier, but globs taste better.
I baked them for about 15 minutes. When they came out, there was no puffiness to the muffins, as they’d been weighed down by the globs AND I’d forgotten my own reducing-the-temperature trick to make muffins puff up. They looked good, but they didn’t look like muffins.
See? They don’t really come up past the tops of the paper.
I let them cool for as long as my patience would last. It wasn’t that long. I was dying to try them.
They are light and so fluffy to be almost airy, with wonderful flavor surprises, you tend to encounter the banana first, then either the Nutella or the peanut buttert, then the other, and then banana again, like this delicious parade of flavors. A true treat. But they were more like 2-bite treats (maybe 3) than muffins, so I tried to come up with a proper name for them. In the meantime, I took some pictures.
And the next day on the train, my friend Paul, who is paid to come up with brilliant ideas for advertising campaigns, came up with the name in about 5 seconds. Banutter Bites! I toyed with calling them BaNutTer Bites, but realized that was just annoying.
1 cup whole wheat white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup mashed ripe banana (I used three medium ones)
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (I used low-fat)
4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, separated into 3 and 1
4 tablespoons Nutella
Heatt oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, beat together the banana, sugar, egg, 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir in the yogurt.
Stir the banana mixture into the flour until just combined.
Melt the peanut butter and then the Nutella in the microwave until the texture becomes more liquid-like and you can drop it from a spoon.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups, filling it 1/4 - 1/3 of the way up. Drop some Nutella into each one, then do the same with the peanut butter. Top them off with the remaining batter, then drizzle (or glob) the rest of the peanut butter and Nutella onto the top, or as much as you think is appropriate.
Get them into the oven, then DROP the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. (You’ll have to work around the melty centers.)
These taste great warm, but are also quite delicious the next day as the banana flavor gets stronger.
I may try to make these more muffin-y and less like little bites, but what delectable little bites they are. I brought them to work and they were gone in about an hour.
Cheesecake Brownie Bites
Antonia is a co-worker who likes my baking so much that it inspires me to try making new things, and she needed something decadent. I love a good baking assignment, so I narrowed it down to three choices, and let Nathaniel cast the deciding vote. It took him about three seconds.
This was one of those times when I didn’t look for ways to lighten up the recipe. I used all purpose flour, lots of butter, 4 eggs, and more than 2 cups of sugar. I also got to use espresso powder, which always makes feel good, since it was a birthday present.
First things first: two sticks of butter. Pot. Stove.
While that was melting, I got the eggs out. Nathaniel was there for the cracking of the first egg.
(He’s not naked, by the way. Pants are on.)
He didn’t even crack the egg all the way before he got egg-shy, being fresh from the shower and wanting to avoid having to wash up again, so he handed it off to me and I cracked that one plus three more.
To the eggs I added cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and the espresso powder mixed with a few teaspoons of water.
The directions said to whisk it all together, which was a bit of a challenge as it started to thicken. I think my poor whisk got one of its wiry bits stretched. I’m still hoping it will recover.
After that I added sugar and the melted butter, and used the sturdy spatula to mix everything until well combined.
Then it was time to add the flour. I stirred it in, then set that bowl aside and got out a new one. In went the cream cheese, one egg yolk, and three tablespoons of sugar.
Honestly, once I had it thoroughly mixed I thought it looked a lot like egg salad. Fortunately it didn’t smell like egg salad. That would have been disturbing.
Doesn’t it look like egg salad?
I dug out my one remaining pastry bag, I even found a tip for it, and stuffed the mixture in.
This recipe has a lot of moving parts. I went back to the brownie batter, armed with a cookie scoop. If I had a smaller one, I think it would have served me better here, but I didn’t, so here we are.
I should have been more vigilant about how much ended up in each cup.
Then I went back to the pastry bag. The only tip I had for it was really more of a thin decorating tip than a wide batter trip, so this was when it really stopped looking anything like the pictures in the recipe.
Then I definitely made the scoops on top of that too big. I should have used a teaspoon.
The muffins took much longer than the recipe said to bake, it said 12 but I think it was more like 20. When they came out it was obvious that I’d overstuffed the muffin cups.
I had enough left to make another batch, though, and this time I used a spoon to put the cream cheese batter in and pushed some of the batter in by hand. They looked better.
A few of them even looked almost good.
And everyone loved them. Antonia got the last two from the batch that went to work with me, and Dave and Nathaniel get the rest. Juliet will opt out because of the chocolate. I like them but I wanted them to look prettier. Pretty, schmetty, though, they got raves. They’re small decadent indulgent bites of brownie and cheesecake, what’s not to rave about?
By the way: I just added commenting to this blog, so feel free to comment! I’m using Disqus.